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Become A Paint Prepper

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Working As A Paint Prepper

  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $36,580

    Average Salary

What Does A Paint Prepper Do At Dent Wizard

* Wash vehicles to remove dirt, oil, grease and debris from painted surfaces.
* Locate and remove imperfections on panels prior to painting.
* Treat scratched and chipped areas with plastic or liquid filler.
* Apply paper and masking tape to protect unpainted surfaces, such as bumpers, windows, chrome trim, and other parts while surrounding areas are spray-painted.
* Tapes the car up using tape, paper and plastic bags so we only paint the parts of the car we intend to paint.
* Smooth unmasked surfaces with sandpaper removing gloss from previous coats of paint.
* Sand rough spots.
* After vehicle is painted, remove masking tape, and clean vehicle.
* Move vehicle to designated area for buffing.
* Perform other duties as assigned by manager or supervisor, i.e., assist supervisor in training and orienting new employees, perform housekeeping duties, etc

What Does A Paint Prepper Do At Ahern Rentals, Inc.

* De-grease, remove dirt, old paint or rust from vehicle surfaces in preparation for paint application
* Remove accessories from equipment, such as mirrors, seats, and mask other surfaces with tape or paper in order to protect them from paint
* Use all provided PPE when exposed to potential dangers
* Maintain safety and cleanliness of equipment, shop and yard
* Update all required documents in an accurate and timely manner
* Other duties, as assigned by Management

What Does A Paint Prepper Do At Iowa Mold Tooling Co., Inc.

* RESPONSIBILITIES1. Wash, clean, and wipe down vehicles to be painted2.
* Remove and replace all components as required for painting and sanding3.
* Mask, paper or grease components when appropriate4.
* Operate necessary equipment (dual action hand sander, electric lifts, etc.)5.
* Use basic hand tools and other small power tools associated with equipment and prep work prior to painting operations6.
* Perform minor bodywork and maintain condition of vehicle or component through the entire paint process7.
* Train and work in various areas of production in response to production demands8.
* Identification, safe handling, and appropriate disposal of materials9.
* Follow verbal and written work instructions10.
* Attention to detail necessary to adhere to quality standards11.
* Maintain a safe and clean work environment by complying with procedures, rules, and regulations12.
* Regular attendance required13.
* All other duties and responsibilities that are assigned

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How To Become A Paint Prepper

Most painters learn their trade on the job. No formal education is typically required to enter the occupation.


There are no specific education requirements to become a painter, but high school courses in mathematics, shop, and blueprint reading can be useful. Also, some 2-year technical schools offer courses through apprenticeships affiliated with union and contractor organizations. Credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree.


Most painters learn their trade on the job. They typically begin by doing simple tasks, such as helping carry materials and laying drop cloths, and then move on to more complicated tasks, such as priming surfaces to be finished.

Some painters learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship, although a few local unions have additional time requirements. For each year of the typical program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Through technical instruction, apprentices learn how to: use and care for tools and equipment, prepare surfaces, mix and match paint, and read blueprints. In addition, they may learn about application techniques, the characteristics of different finishes, including wood finishing, and safety practices. 

After completing an apprenticeship program, painters are considered journey workers and may perform tasks on their own.

Unions and contractors sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work

Although the vast majority of workers learn their trade on the job or through an apprenticeship, some contractors offer their own training program for new workers. The National Association of Home Builders through the Home Builders Institute offer Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT), which covers information for eight construction trades, including painting.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Those interested in industrial painting can earn several certifications from NACE International Institute or from the Society for Protective Coatings. The most common certification, from both groups, is called Protective Coating Specialist. Courses range from 1 day to several weeks, depending on the certification program and specialty. Applicants also must meet work experience requirements.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Painters must be able to identify and differentiate between subtle changes in color.

Customer-service skills. Workers who paint the inside and outside of residential homes often interact with clients. They must communicate with the client, listen to what the client wants, and help select colors and application techniques that satisfy the client.

Detail oriented. Painters must be precise when creating or painting edges, because minor flaws can be noticeable.

Physical stamina. Painters should be able to stay physically active for many hours, because they spend most of the day standing with their arms extended while climbing ladders.

Physical strength. Painters must lift and move numerous items during the course of a job. For example, a 5-gallon bucket of paint weighs over 40 pounds.

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Paint Prepper Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Polish


Paint Prepper

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Paint Prepper Education

Paint Prepper

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Top Skills for A Paint Prepper


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Top Paint Prepper Skills

  1. Customer Vehicles
  2. Prep Cars
  3. I-Car
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Wet sanding runs and imperfections if they arise.
  • Maintained a clean work environment and also followed safety procedures.
  • Aided the painters in prepping of tarps, and papering off windows for painting.
  • Prepared vehicle for customer delivery.
  • Painted primer, undercoats, top layer and clear coats as needed.

Top Paint Prepper Employers

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Paint Prepper Videos

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